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Hostage taker shot by police

(Shanghai Daily)

08:05, August 31, 2011

CHINESE police shot a knife-wielding assailant and freed two passengers, one a nine-year-old girl, who had been taken hostage on a bus on an expressway near Nanjing City in the eastern Jiangsu Province yesterday.

The hostage-taker, Yang Bing, was hit twice and then detained along with three accomplices on the bus, Nanjing police said.

At least three passengers were injured in the incident, but none was said to be seriously hurt, according to local media.

They included the girl and the other freed hostage, who were said to be in a stable condition in hospital. They and another male passenger were treated for minor cuts received during the incident.

"The suspect Yang Bing was in an impulsive condition and intended to hurt the hostages," police said. "To ensure the safety of hostages, police opened fire and injured Yang."

Yang was one of the suspects in the killing of a man in a fight in Ningbo, Zhejiang Province, at the weekend, police said.

The hostage drama began at about 1pm when the police stopped the bus, which was en route to Xiaoshan in Zhejiang from Jiangsu's neighboring Anhui Province, at a toll station for an ID check. They had been tipped off that four wanted suspects were on board.

"Some officers came aboard saying that the bus was overloaded," said a passenger surnamed Chen.

"The officers were checking ID cards and asked women and children to get off first while the others were told to remain in their seats."

More than 40 passengers were on the coach at the time, police said.

While the women were leaving, Yang suddenly grabbed the nine-year-old girl and held her hostage with a knife pointed at her neck, police said.

He also cornered a male passenger at the back of the bus.

Police cordoned off the area as negotiators, a SWAT team, detectives and traffic officers rushed to the scene.

At 2:20pm, the other three suspects left the bus and surrendered to police. But Yang refused to release the hostages, police said. Negotiations entered a deadlock, witnesses said.

"At 3:15pm, Yang suddenly became impulsive and was attempting to hurt the girl," police said. Snipers in the SWAT team were ordered to shoot.

"There were two shots with a few minutes in between," Chen said.

The injured Yang was pounced on by officers who rushed into the bus to free the girl and the male passenger.

"It was a decisive action," police said.

All the passengers were taken to a police station where they received food and water and psychological counseling.

Yang was on a wanted list after a man was killed in a gang fight on Saturday night at a KTV parlor in Ningbo. The 32-year-old came from Kaixian County of southwest China's Chongqing City.

Yesterday, police in Ningbo who were hunting for Yang discovered he was on the bus and contacted Nanjing police.


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